BONNYVILLE – The Bonnyville Sr. AA Pontiacs kicked off the new year on a high note following back-to-back wins over the weekend.
The local team polished off their two-day home stretch with four points after besting the Blackfalds Wranglers and Westlock Warriors.
“Going into this weekend, we had five games left and we were five points out from a playoff spot,” noted head coach Corey Wandler. “Now, we’re one point out of a playoff spot, so this is exactly where we needed to be with three games left. It’s just going to get tougher for us now.”
Centreman Justin Dubeau agreed, “We started talking before the weekend, and it’s playoffs for us now. We can’t wait. We’re too far behind the eight ball. These were two teams that we could catch and we beat both of them, so we’re pretty happy about that.”
Tying up the Wranglers
When Bonnyville hit the ice for the first time in 2020 on Jan. 4, they walked away with a 7-3 victory against the Wranglers.
“We played well,” recalled Wandler. “Our goalie was unreal, and he played phenomenal in both games.”
Pontiac Coltan Buchta scored the first goal of the game only five minutes into the frame.
Denis Cadrin added another point to Bonnyville’s lead shortly after, followed by the Wranglers answering with one of their own.
Cadrin found the back of the net, ending the first period 3-1 for the Pontiacs.
Bonnyville scored four more goals in the second frame with Buchta starting it off with a short-handed goal, followed by Tayon Metzler capitalizing on a powerplay.
Pontiac Lucas Isley added his name to the scoresheet, and Metzler landed his second goal of the evening to solidify Bonnyville’s 7-1 lead.
Although the Wranglers scored the last two goals of the game in the third, they couldn’t catch up to the Pontiacs, ending the matchup 7-3.
Two in a row for the Pontiacs
Fresh off a win, the Pontiacs were looking to continue their success as they faced off against the Westlock Warriors on Sunday, Jan. 5.
They walked away with a 6-4 victory against the visiting team.
Wandler noted the game was a grind for the Pontiacs.
“It was a tough game against a tough opponent... We knew we were going to have our hands full. We had a team effort from everyone. We managed the puck well, played with lots of energy, and we got scoring throughout the line up, which is key for us.”
Isley put the Pontiacs on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the first.
Westlock responded with one of their own before Bonnyville’s Marcus Morin and Liam Hauser added their names to the scoresheet to bring the home team ahead 3-1.
The Warriors managed to add another point, but Cadrin answered before the frame was through.
Metzler scored the only goal of the second period just over two minutes in.
Starting the third off in Bonnyville’s favour 5-2, Westlock found the back of the net twice.
Pontiac Brayden Goulet scored the final goal of the afternoon, fortifying Bonnyville’s 6-4 victory.
“It was fun out there,” expressed Dubeau. “It’s actually nice to see the boys rolling, and the rooms starting to click too with everybody showing up. It’s nice to see happy faces all around.”
The Pontiacs hope to keep their win-streak alive as they face-off against the Lacombe Generals Jan. 11 at home.
“We seem to have more success (at home) than we do on the road, so we’ll just look to reset, heal up some battle wounds from this weekend, and just come focused and ready to go into battle against Lacombe,” Wandler said, adding they’re one of the top teams in the league.
Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.